Arsenal, Welbeck and Morality

It’s almost worth rehashing the Albert Camus quote from earlier in the week. Morality and football are uneasy bedfellows with the professional game hogging all the duvet. As far back as the first professional club, questionable practices emerged with the Premier League era no different in that respect.

Introduce a moral dilemma into the equation and there is no shortage of opinion from every side of the argument, as well as those on the fence picking splinters out of their arsenals.

Yet, fans frequently battle clubs, leagues and federations for “football’s soul”. Do we even know what football’s soul is?

The extent of Danny Welbeck’s injury will be known by player and club this weekend. Everyone is saying he suffered a broken ankle but no-one wants to say how badly, or whether there was any ancillary damage to ligaments. We shall see.

A question to which there is seemingly no answer yet is whether Arsenal should extend his deal? When you broach the subject, the presumption is you mean for another four years but never a year. It’s not uncommon for there to be an option for the club to extend a deal by a year. Seemingly not in this case. Or, Arsenal decided not to.

Welbz was up for sale last summer but there were no takers. He took the decision to run down his deal the year before, I suspect, when he told the club he didn’t want to enter in renewal talks. Unlike Ramsey, those talks never happened.

Arsenal took a decision to let him go and so be it. He seemed content to walk on a Bosman which meant both parties were comfortable with the decision. At 27, the world until Wednesday night was his oyster.

More Like A Walking Dead Plot

Welbeck isn’t going to cut it as a central striker at an elite club, but the next level down? A Leicester, Everton or Bournemouth? He’d do quite well there. Maybe that what he’s needed all along; to be a big fish in a small pond. It might bring the best out in him.

The question for Arsenal is whether to take on an extra year? It’s a decision which can’t be entertained until the extent of the injury is known. If Welbeck is going to be back in the spring, so be it. That’s two months to prove no ill-effects suffered.

If, however, he’s out until late next year, what then? Comparisons to Santi Cazorla miss the point. His injury was unheard of and the story which emerged was more like the beginning of the Walking Dead than a footballer’s life.

Valid comparisons are to Diaby and Rosicky. Both dogged by injury to a worse extent that Welbeck in the past but to varying degrees, we never saw the prime of either.

Both found a benevolent club operating at the Emirates, grateful for the paternalistic approach of the-then manager. Should Arsenal, in the worse case scenario, continue that approach?

Which, to return to the opening theme, is a question of morality. Do we want an Arsenal which leads the way of ‘decency’, of doing the ‘right thing’ in these situations?

Or are we not bothered? Are we so immune to the corruption and tangled webs of deceit which are warping football seemingly every day, that we don’t care?

Given the respective financial muscle in the transfer market, is it impossible for Arsenal to ‘do the right thing’ and still compete? It’s an extra wage on the bill, after all, and we must fund Enos’ dividends.

Flickering Flames

That’s if the situation reaches that point. It’s purely speculative and let’s hope it remains that way. If it does, everyone’s a winner. Those who want the brief flicker of football’s soul can claim the club would have acted in a certain way while the pragmatists lay out the blueprint for a dynamic, title challenging and ruthless club.

And most of a footballer hasn’t suffered as serious an injury as first feared.

’til Tomorrow.

11 thoughts on “Arsenal, Welbeck and Morality

  1. I really like Welbeck and am so gutted for him. We will miss him this season for the depth he provided across the front 3, his energy and pressing and the 10-12 goals in all comps he was on target to provide.

    Now the real decision is do we bring back Nelson if possible in January and keep Nketiah at the club rather than send him on loan or hope we are deep enough in forward areas? I don’t see the contract issue as any kind of quandary. Both he and the club seemed to want to move on next year. He will certainly have Arsenal supporting him through his treatment and rehab for 6-7 months. I’d be happy if the club continued to allow him the use of our medical staff and treatment and facilities until he signs a new contract.

  2. LSG,

    Shame about the necessary topic, but great article Yogi. I’ve just unhooked my boot laces from the fence. Some detail there I wasn’t aware of.

    Aye LSG, Some kind of way to maximise his chance of a full recovery, and hence find gainful employ ,at whatever level, and allow The DD to wholeheartedly seek a replacement…..which they likely already started. You’d hope so .

    Not sure about the Nelson thing. He’s looking good enough for sure, but he’s not a like for like for Danny is he? Better to leave him where he is thriving. Give Eddie a few run outs, and Get Micki/ Rambo/ ESR hounding the defensces like Danny does.

  3. Welbeck had decided to leave. Fair enough.

    While he remains our player, we should do the best we can for him but I see no moral or practical reason to give him a new contract. That would be an act of charity, no more.

    I wish him all the best for his recovery and in any future club that he joins. He was a good club servant.

  4. Good stuff Yogi and I certainly would have no qualms if we gave him 1 year contract and then sold him next winter(if possible).

    I feel for him because he wasn’t turning into some top goal scorer but what he did bring was versatility and a infectious willingness to press and chase lost causes. If we don’t offrr him then a winger/ attacker must be in the cards as it would allow us the chance to rest one of Aubameyang and Lacazette during the PL but also add depth.

  5. If Danny wants to return to Arsenal, asks reasonable wages, makes a full recovery and appears fully fit before the end of the season, Nketiah and Nelson aren’t fully ready to make contributions to the attack, then why not sign him? But as it looks now, he was already on his way out, it seemed.

  6. Arsenal– a club that gets special treatment from the media, gets special treatment from the football authorities like the Premier League,”They love Arsenal. Why do they love Arsenal? Because they’ve got a big social media following and they can all latch onto it.“What an odious, obnoxious, offensive football club this is.
    I’m really annoyed because Aubameyang has been given the Player of the Month. Have you ever heard anything like it?”The only reason he’s got Player of the Month is because he plays for Arsenal.“He started one Premier League game in October. In that game, the goal he scored was the one that Lacazette hand-balled to him. It should’ve been disallowed.“This is a guy who wasn’t good enough to start games for Arsenal. How the hell is he the Premier League Player of the Month?”
    – Adrian Durham

  7. YW,

    Haha. I don’t even know who they are, but anyone who feels that way about Auba winning player of the month , they bring me joy.
    Ferkov. (And Dai)

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